Entertainment retailers have reported a surge in sales of Michael Jackson’s albums after the sudden death of the music legend last week.

HMV sold 50,000 of the singer’s albums on Friday and Saturday alone and sales of his top 10 albums on Play.com soared 7,860 per cent.

HMV chief executive Simon Fox said: “It’s been extraordinary how people have responded.”

The lift in sales seen after his death has been considerably higher than after the deaths of Elvis Presley and John Lennon, Fox said.

On Amazon’s website, half of its top 10 bestselling MP3 album downloads were Michael Jackson albums. It also sold as many of the iconic singer’s CDs in the day following his death as it did in the past decade.

Downloads for Jackson’s songs and albums have increased on Play.com by 5,167 per cent. Searches for the singer’s name rocketed 8,900 per cent on the e-tailer’s site. His Number Ones album has also shot up from 121 to number one in the charts.

EBay said there had been a 63 per cent surge in sales of his music memorabilia with the highest priced item sold so far being a signed Bad LP that fetched £2,700.

HMV has sold out of stock in many stores.

Chief operating officer for Play.com Stuart Rowe said that although they had enough stock there could be shortages elsewhere as it was so unexpected. However, many retailers had extra stock of his songs ahead of the planned UK tour.

EBay and Play.com were also working to ensure customers who bought tickets for his tour from their sites would be fully refunded.

Fox said HMV was “absolutely not” cashing in, simply “responding to demand”. Rowe said it was a shame that someone’s death created such a sales uplift.